Football News: Denmark’s Familiar Struggles in Euro 2024 Qualifiers

Perhaps the most striking aspect of Denmark’s game against Slovenia on Sunday was how familiar it all felt. A side highly reliant on one outstanding creator, Christian Eriksen, taking the lead in the first half only to unexpectedly lose their way against physical opponents in the second half. This scenario has become all too familiar for Danish fans, who were left frustrated by the dropped points against the lowest-ranked side in the group.

The big story, of course, was the return and recovery of Eriksen, who was brilliant in the first half, dictating the play and scoring the opening goal. Given his cardiac arrest just three years ago at the Euros, the symbolism of his comeback was not lost on anyone. However, the Danish fans seemed more concerned with the result than Eriksen’s personal journey, having heard all the “resurrection” talk a bit too often.

The post-match press conference took on a peculiar dynamic, with gentle questions from foreign media about Eriksen’s miraculous return, interspersed with the forensic Danish grumbles about the manager’s delayed substitutions. Even Eriksen himself, while remaining polite, seemed more bothered by the result than his own remarkable comeback.

Manager Kasper Hjulmand has come under criticism from the Danish media for not making substitutions earlier in the draw with Slovenia. This is a strong Danish squad, with every player plying their trade at a club in one of the top eight leagues in Europe. There is a growing sense that Denmark, if not among the favorites, should at least be competitive at major tournaments. However, their performances since the Nations League win over France in September 2022 have been underwhelming, culminating in the disappointing World Cup campaign.

The bigger issue seems to be the lack of structure in the Danish team, as they have become overly reliant on Eriksen’s brilliance. While the return to the back three used at the last Euros makes sense in giving Eriksen a platform in midfield, it also highlights the team’s vulnerability to physical opponents, as seen against Slovenia.

The upcoming game against England in the Euro 2024 qualifiers will pose a very different challenge, with Denmark potentially able to sit deeper and use Eriksen’s creativity to spring counterattacks. However, the current sense of malaise within the team is more concerning than the tactical issues. There is a feeling, very familiar to England fans, of a cycle coming to an end for this Danish side.

๐Ÿ”— Source